Episode 99: Favorite Films of 2020 Part 2

“When I make film music, I’m a filmmaker first and foremost. It’s about serving the needs of the film. You’re telling a story; in a way, you stop becoming a composer and become a storyteller instead. You tell the story with the most appropriate themes. How you approach these things is a very personal matter, but your goal is to tell the story first.”

Jóhann Jóhannsson

Links: Apple Podcasts | Castbox | Google Podcasts | LibSyn | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube

This week on Drink in the Movies Michael & Taylor discuss their number 5-1 Favorite Films of 2020. As well as hand out show awards for each of their Rising Stars, Top 3 OST’s, Favorite Actor/Actress in a Lead and Supporting role, Top 3 Directorial Debuts, and their Top 3 Classic Film Discoveries.

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Episode 98: Favorite Films of 2020 Part 1

“Archaeology is about digging. It’s like the work of moles, who live underground. A mole is virtually blind, but it has a nose and a feel for finding what it needs. And it has the patience to collect what it finds. It collects provisions to last through the winter.

In a dictatorship, the idea is to amass hidden stores of images and words, portraying the things that people living under the dictatorship might have actually experienced, but that could not necessarily be seen or heard. Then, when the dictatorship was no more, those images bore witness to it. Similar to the mole, the work of collecting those images required a certain nose for the worthwhile as well as practice, since a picture seldom makes it immediately apparent what it depicts and a sound seldom tells us of the part we can’t hear.”

Thomas Heise

Links: Apple Podcasts | Castbox | Google Podcasts | LibSyn | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube

This week on Drink in the Movies Michael & Taylor discuss their number 10-6 favorite films of 2020. As well as hand out show awards for each of their Wounded Soldiers of the year, Squandered Talents, Top 3 Ensembles, Paths Back to Excellence and their Top 3 Documentaries.

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Episode 85: VIFF 2020 Doc Talk / Mr. SOUL! / Into the Storm / My Mexican Bretzel

“My Mother when she saw the film. She told me I had made a most truthful portrait of her parents than if I had told the truth. So maybe it’s better sometimes to use fiction to tell truths.”

Nuria Giménez Lorang (Interview Link)

Links: Apple Podcasts | Castbox | Google Podcasts | LibSyn | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube

This week on Drink in the Movies Michael & Taylor discuss their First Impressions of: Dick Johnson is Dead & MLK/FBI. Followed by the VIFF 2020 Documentary Titles: Mr. SOUL!, Into the Storm, and My Mexican Bretzel.

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Streaming links for titles this episode

Mr. Soul! is currently available in Virtual Cinemas

My Mexican Bretzel on IndiePix Unlimited

Into the Storm is currently seeking distribution.

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My Mexican Bretzel

Written by Maria Manuella Pache de Athayde

    80/100

During the past few months I have developed a love for documentary filmmaking, but this “documentary” is unlike any other I’ve seen so far. From the opening title card which reads “lies are just another way of telling the truth.” I knew I should have been prepared but what happened next was surprising. 

The film starts with WWII Swiss pilots and culminates in the crash of a pilot called Leon Barrett who loses his hearing. From there we get more insight into his relationship with Vivian Barrett, through a series of homemade videos, and their eventual trip to Paris where they secure a business deal to develop a new antidepressant called Lovedyn which has minimal side-effects.  

As the documentary progresses, or so we are told, we see their journey across Europe, to places like Barcelona and Majorca, and the United States. We also see an apparent deterioration of their relationship when Vivian falls for a man named Leo. When Leon and Vivian eventually reunite in NYC they continue traveling by land, air, and sea promoting Lovedyn. 

The biggest technical achievement of this piece is audio-visual manipulation and not the story itself. Bretzel is mostly silent and sound is used sporadically throughout. When sound is used it conveys a particular purpose or emotion typically used to indicate movement such as the sound of an airplane crashing, a train passing by, an owl flying down to catch its prey, the sound of a gondola, the roaring of the engines at a race track, or the crashing of waves. There is little to no dialogue and in the rare moment we hear spoken words it is the voice of an announcer calling a race. Instead of relying on sound the director, Gimenez, relies on archival home video footage overlaid with diary-like entries to explain what is going on. 

This piece is the definition of a slow burn. I suspect that this is more of a pastiche of the stories that the director heard growing up as opposed to a strict documentary. When you try to learn more about who Leon and Vivian Barrett were nothing comes up. This genre bending compilation of images and people is worth a watch for those who have the patience to appreciate the little things in life. If you go in, like me, with zero expectations you might be pleasantly surprised.

Recommended.

My Mexican Bretzel Trailer

My Mexican Bretzel screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2020.

VIFF Website: https://viff.org/Online/

Available to stream thru IndiePix Unlimited here

You can follow Maria Manuella Pache de Athayde on LetterboxdTwitter, or Instagram and view more of what she’s up to here.